Fantasy Football: Waiver Wire Week 11
|11.13.12 at 9:40 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 11 waiver wire. The big news this week came in late last night, as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger went down with a potentially significant shoulder injury on Monday Night Football. While this may not have a direct effect on today’s free-agent market, it does affect a lot of players and therefore fantasy teams. The loss of Roethlisberger, for as long as it lasts, will decimate almost all of the fantasy options in Pittsburgh. Will Mike Wallace still be a viable player? Sure, but he has far less big-game potential. All the receiving options in Pittsburgh get downgraded and so do the running backs, who relied on the respect that defenses gave Big Ben to open up lanes on the ground. The before and after was apparent last night against the Chiefs as Jonathan Dwyer was far less effective behind backup Byron Leftwich than he was earlier with Roethlisberger under center. This will negatively affect RB Rashard Mendenhall should he return for Week 11, and for those who were hoping to get a 2-3 week run from Emmanuel Sanders, you will need to re-calibrate too.
CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reports that the Steelers are preparing for a multiple-week absence for Roethlisberger, but it’s possible that an MRI will provide a more optimistic outlook–or perhaps a more dire one. More should be known later today according to HC Mike Tomlin, so you need to follow this one if you are heavily tethered to any of the Steelers’ skill players.
As usual, I will be adding names to our free agent target list as I work through last week’s games. Head on over to Rotobahn if you play in deeper formats and are looking for more options.
Carson Palmer, Raiders
I took some grief for putting Palmer in this space a few weeks back. He’s now the 8th ranked quarterback for fantasy football purposes, so he should be owned in all formats and he is not. Roster Carson if you need some QB help. The Raiders’ receivers are now fully healthy and their level of play reflects that.
Sam Bradford, Rams
Bradford’s got a healthy team around him now and the results are looking better. WR Danny Amendola‘s return is the big key and he looked healthy against the 49ers last week. The Rams’ starter can be your QB2 in most formats and should be owned in most leagues.
Jake Locker, Titans
There are two Jakes. We got a good glimpse at bad Jake last week. He was typically inaccurate, but he has good wheels and gets you points in many ways, so he is still a fantasy factor. Locker is worth rostering in leagues where you are searching for some upside at the position. He’s viable in any league size but he does have a Week 11 bye.
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Wilson had a solid outing against the Jets in Week 10 and he is now looking like a very solid matchup play in 12-team leagues. He is on the bye in Week 11, so be aware of that. We like his matchups in weeks 14 and 15.
Nick Foles, Eagles
Starter Michael Vick has been all but ruled out for Week 11, so Foles is mandatory for those who have been playing Vick and lack a strong backup option. The news is not all bad. If you do land Foles, he could replace Vick’s stats and then some based on how well he fit into Andy Reid‘s system in the preseason. The Eagles have had success plugging guys in in the past and Foles can play. He’s a viable add in any league this week.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
The early signs on Alex Smith‘s concussion are positive, but if you rely on Smith, you might consider rostering Kaepernick in deeper leagues. He also has some appeal as an upside add even if you do not roster Smith. Kaepernick is a very good athlete and he could post solid fantasy stats in the 49ers’ offense. We love those foot points.
Tim Tebow, Jets
His time could be coming although probably not this week. The Jets are desperate for a change and they didn’t bring Tebow in for nothing. Add him in deep format and long term leagues. He’ll start games before the year is done.
Andre Brown, Giants
My apologies go out to the gentleman that asked me if he should play Brown over Bradshaw last week. You were right and I was wrong. In my defense, Bradshaw did get injured further (neck) in the game and he’s been performing well without practicing for years now. At this point, OC Kevin Gilbride seems intent on using Brown whether Bradshaw is hurt or healthy. He has a significant role and needs to be owned in all leagues.
Beanie Wells, Cardinals
In bigger leagues, the time to get him was a week or two ago, but he is still out there in some 10-team leagues. Wells should be the feature back in Arizona starting in Week 12 and that can help you if your team has RB problems. Beanie has legit upside.
Marcel Reece, Raiders
He’s not a long term solution, but he is a good bet to have the same role in Week 11 that he had in Week 10. He can help you for at least one more week in all formats.
Alex Green, Packers
Green is still our bet to be the most valuable back in Green Bay. He fits the offense better and plays James Starks‘ role better than Starks can play his. We’d continue to roster Green in all 12-team formats and also in 10-team PPR formats.
James Starks, Packers
He looked good in Week 9, but he was mostly there to run, was not used as a receiver and was shaky in pass protection. Starks has a role, but we don’t think he can take over the job. Most of his carries came in a clock-killing role.
Mark Ingram, Saints
He has looked much better the last two weeks and HC Joe Vitt seems intent on getting him his carries. Vitt also seems to want to run more, so adding Ingram in larger formats is advisable. He might be able to help you down the stretch.
Chris Ivory, Saints
He’s scored in two straight games, but he’s doing it with just a handful of touches, so you always worry about the big play not happening. That being said, Ivory is now worth an add in bigger formats and perhaps some smaller ones as a Week 11 fill-in.
Vick Ballard, Colts
He appears to have gained at least a split with veteran Donald Brown and with Brown’s knee injury still an issue, we’d rather own the younger Ballard, who is available in a lot of leagues. If you need help at RB, consider Ballard, especially in larger formats.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
He’s available in 63% of Yahoo leagues and he can help you, especially in PPR leagues. In larger performance leagues, he is still worth grabbing and stashing. Michael Turner is clearly on the downside, and we suspect they will start featuring Rodgers more in the coming weeks.
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
We don’t love him as much as a lot of outlets seem to, but the Steelers have indicated that they view him as the starter when he is ready. Despite our reservations, he should be owned in all but small leagues and perhaps some of them as well. The injury to Roethlisberger does take some of the shine off of Mendy’s apple.
Jonathan Dwyer, Steelers
He ran strong again last night though the stats don’t jump off the page. As we’ve been saying all year, he is the best back in Pittsburgh unless Mendenhall finds his pre-surgery form. He is worth owning in most formats for his potential upside if he can get the job and we think he’s close. Again, we were more excited about him before Big Ben went down.
David Wilson, Giants
If Ahmad Bradshaw is indeed banged up and is going to miss some time, you need to roster Wilson, especially in larger formats. He is the most talented back on the Giants’ roster and he could go crazy if he gets the touches. Don’t forget that, as well as Andre Brown has played, he has already missed two games to concussion symptoms in 2012. Wilson needs to be owned in all large formats, and if Bradshaw ends up missing time after the Giants’ Week 11 bye, Wilson needs to be owned in small leagues too.
Tashard Choice, Bills
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders
This one I got right. Bey looked strong in Week 9 and we recommended him loudly in Week 10. If he is available, he is worth adding in all formats. Oakland is throwing the ball well and Bey is getting plenty of looks from Carson Palmer.
Golden Tate, Seahawks
He is getting better as the year wears on and his quarterback is growing with him. Tate is a solid flex option going forward, but be mindful of his Week 11 bye. He is not a plug-and-play option for this week.
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
We love him as you probably know, but he’s really stepping up now and if they allow him to keep getting the snaps, we expect the production to continue. Shorts can help you in any league right now.
Danario Alexander, Chargers
As I said last week, he can help you, but he carries heightened injury risk, so enjoy it while you can but do so with open eyes. Alexander has phenomenal ability and we’d love to see him stay healthy, but his knee woes have proven to be chronic over the years. He is worth an add right now while he’s rolling–in any format.
Alshon Jeffrey, Bears
We think he has a high ceiling for the rest of the year and we expect him to return this week against San Francisco. Roster him in all 12-team leagues and long term leagues. He’s worth adding in smaller leagues too if you have the bench space. The Bears are desperate for a player to draw coverage away from Brandon Marshall. That starts by throwing Jeffrey the ball.
Michael Floyd, Cardinals
He looked like he was finding himself as they headed into their Week 10 bye and we think he’ll keep it going. Floyd is a playmaker and he is well worth adding in larger leagues if he is available.
Laurent Robinson, Jaguars
The Jaguars found big roles for all three of their receivers in Week 10. Cecil Shorts is now a big part of their offense, but that did little to diminish Robinson’s role. The former Cowboy was heavily targeted and looked totally healthy. He also looked more comfortable working with QB Blaine Gabbert than he did earlier in the season. Robinson is a viable flex option in 12-team leagues going forward and is worth owning in most leagues.
Ryan Broyles, Lions
Broyles was quiet in Week 10 as most of Detroit’s receivers took a back seat to the Calvin Johnson Show. Broyles is a good player to own in 12-team leagues. Though he is coming off of an ACL injury, he is now one of the healthiest receivers in Detroit. He’s going to have a role the rest of the way.
T.Y. Hilton, Colts
He got his 30 yards as a rusher and not as a receiver. That’s good and bad, but they are throwing a lot in Indy and Hilton is going to have upside every week. Not a bad guy to have on your bench in a 12-team league.
Mohamed Sanu, Bengals
Sanu is a guy we like, but he’s still developing. He is probably the guy to own in Cincy at this point once you get past A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins. Add him in 12-team leagues for depth and in long term formats as well.
Jarius Wright, Vikings
Adding Wright is a nice hedge for Percy Harvin owners if you play in a large league. He has the talent to contribute in all formats, but he’s still just the third receiver if Harvin is healthy, so he’s not worth an add in smaller leagues.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
He’s back and he is available in some leagues, so snatch him up for his upside if you lack a stud at the position. He should be a TE1 the rest of the way.
Greg Olsen, Panthers
Olsen is trending well and Cam Newton is looking for him. He can be your starter in most formats and has not had a clunker since Week 2. He is a better play right now than some bigger names like Vernon Davis. Add him if you need help.
Jared Cook, Titans
Cook is a lost target in Tennessee far too often and it’s hard to tell why. His one Week 10 grab went for a pretty score and his production is not far off of players ranked in the top ten at the position. Cook has a chance to finish well and is worth an add if you need tight end help.
Dustin Keller, Jets
Keller stunk up the joint last week, but he is a big part of the Jets’ offense and should be consistently active going forward. He can start for you in 12-team leagues.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Pitta came back to life in Week 10 and found the zone. Perhaps just as important as the score was the fact that he was involved overall the way he was earlier this season. If this represents a trend, Pitta might be a good add for the rest of the way. Week 11 is big for the Ravens’ TE.
Rob Housler, Cardinals
Housler had a bye week in Week 10, but we liked what we saw in the weeks leading up to the bye. We’d add Housler in deep leagues if we were looking for depth at the position. Teams cannot afford to pay much attention to him with Larry Fitzgerald getting brackets and doubles. Housler has some upside in big leagues and long term formats.